Unofficial Portkey Archive

Alice Evans and the Prisoner of Azkaban by hermy_madness

Alice Evans and the Prisoner of Azkaban


Inside the Three Broomsticks

"Really Mr Weasley," Ron jumped and swivelled in his seat simultaneously as Professor McGonagall addressed him, "do you think it might be possible for you to condescend to pay a little attention in my lesson? I understand that the basic principles of Transfiguration may not fill you with the same inspiration as Mr Potter's conversation evidently does, but I would appreciate it if you kept your effusions until after class."

Alice and Hermione, sitting behind the boys, glanced at each other and grinned. "Honestly Ron," Hermione remonstrated as they were packing up after class, "you know she's got eyes and ears like a hawk; I really wonder where your brain is sometimes." At that point she turned to Harry and so didn't see Ron making faces behind her back; Alice gave him a gentle kick on the shin. "Anyway Harry, I thought you were going to ask McGonagall for permission to go to Hogsmeade on Sunday?"

"What's the point?" Harry swung his bag onto his shoulder and began walking towards the door. "It's not as though she would ever say yes, I'd just get told it was far too dangerous with Black still on the loose."

"Well, surely it's worth asking? It won't be the same if you don't go to Hogsmeade… I mean, you know, with the four of us and…" Everyone was watching Hermione now, Harry in confusion, Ron with mounting amusement and Alice torn over whether or not she should rescue her friend from her own conversation. In the end she wasn't required. "Well, anyway, shall we go to the Library?" And without another word she bustled off, her mass of hair hiding a face which Alice was sure was an impressive shade of red.

She laughed as Ron groaned loudly. "Not again?! I swear Hermione was born in a Library. We've been there every day this week, how can there possibly be any more books left to read…" he trailed off muttering discontentedly under his breath.

"Don't be daft," Alice grinned, "libraries are fantastic; you'll learn to love them." Her smile widened as the boys looked at her sceptically. "Come on," she changed tack, "do you want to help Hagrid with his case or not?" That stuck them both so with resigned sighs they traipsed after her along the corridor.

Later that evening as the rising moon just crested the peaks of the mountains beyond the lake and cast an enchanting, silver light in through the Library window Alice and Hermione were still to be found pouring over piles of books. Harry had long since given in to Wood's demands for an extra Quidditch practice and Alice supposed that if he wasn't still out on the pitch he had gone to bed. Ron had just given up.

The Library had long since emptied of all but the most dedicated pupils, most of them panicking prematurely about their O.W.L.'s or N.E.W.T.'s, leaving only a few scratching away by candlelight. As she noted down yet another reference, this time to a fourteenth century accident at Hogwarts which involved a teacher, Alice had to suppress an expansive yawn. "Hermione," she glanced over at the top of her friend's head - the rest being concealed behind a large book on wizarding law - "do you think we should maybe turn in now? My eyes are making the words go all squiggly and we do still have classes tomorrow."

"Mmm, in a minute," her friend responded vaguely. It was obvious she hadn't heard a word Alice said. Sleepily she sat back in her seat and rubbed her eyes; she didn't think her brain could cope with anymore words tonight, much as she loved them everyone had a limit. Except perhaps Hermione.

Gazing hazily around the room, as often happens when a person is tired, an odd and rather pointless thought popped into Alice's head. How many people were still in the Library at - she checked her watch - ten o'clock at night? She tried to count them all from where she was sitting but the shelves stopped her from seeing more than a few desks round about her, and they only had two people sitting at them. Too tired to bother getting up and going for a look, she dug down into the bag that was sitting at her feet searching for what she knew must be in there somewhere. Finally locating it she pulled the Marauder's Map out and laid it flat on the desk. Making sure that no one was watching her she tapped the parchment and whispered the incantation. Once the spidery lines had finished winding their way across the sheet she located the library and began counting. As she was doing so however she noticed something odd and stopped.

"Hermione," she whispered to her friend. No response. "Hermione," she repeated a little louder this time.


"Have you seen this?"

"In a second," Hermione waved her hand over the book she was reading, not taking her eyes off the page.

With a half frustrated sigh Alice gave up on getting her friend's attention, goodness knows she herself had been absorbed like that often enough. Twisting round in her seat Alice looked towards the corner of the room that had pricked her interest on the Map. "I'll just be a second." She doubted Hermione heard her, but she said it anyway.

Creeping quickly and quietly across the Library so as not to attract any unwanted attention, namely that of Madam Pince, Alice slipped between towering bookshelves until she found what she was looking for. Stopping in front of one particularly ornate looking bookcase she glanced back down at the Map. The evidence of her eyes told her that behind the books lay a solid castle wall; the Map said there was an entire room behind it. Searching the stone for a seam or a crack that would indicate some sort of entrance she stood on tiptoe to try and see, but there was nothing. Frustrated she looked back down at the parchment in her hand. Slowly, as she watched, the dot labelled Alice Evans tapped the wall in front of it with a tiny wand and beneath her name another word appeared. Squinting she pulled the parchment as close to her face as she could, without loosing focus, trying to work out what it said. Suddenly realising she cursed her own stupidity. It was obvious when you thought about it really.

Drawing her own wand she offered a silent prayer that this wouldn't be noisy and tapped the bookcase. "Alohomora." With a muffled click the bookcase itself swung forward an inch or two. Glancing about herself one last time to check that no one was watching Alice felt a frisson of excitement as she pulled the shelves towards her to create a gap through which she could fit. Her tiredness of minutes before seemed to have evaporated entirely. Edging slowly she used her wand to illuminate the other wise pitch black space - and tried to stop her jaw from dropping. As rooms went it wasn't a very wide space, but what it lacked in width it more than made up for in height. As she twisted her neck backwards to look up the roof was so distant that it was barely visible by the dim light cast by her wand. What she could see though were books. Hundreds, maybe thousands, of volumes lined the walls and were shoved into ever available space. These weren't however the beautiful leather covered tomes that inhabited the library outside, or even the slightly shabby and potion stained ones. Here there were scrolls that looked distinctly moth eaten, manuscripts that were missing covers, and probably pages as well, raggedy sheets of parchment, jotters and well-thumbed note books all clamoured for space within what was clearly some sort of store cupboard. Alice felt as though Christmas, along with every birthday and Easter had come early.

Shattering her excitement she suddenly heard voices approaching in the main library outside. With a stab of disappointment and regret she quickly slipped back out through the bookcase, pushing it shut just as two Hufflepuff seventh years rounded the corner of the aisle. Seeing her staring at them with wide terrified eyes they paused momentarily.

"Shouldn't a little squirt like you be in bed by this time?" The tone was not unkind, but it made Alice's tongue fold up on itself all the same. Mumbling incoherently what was intended to be an apology she speedily backed away cursing both their bad timing and her own inability to articulate in front of people she didn't know. By the time she had reached the table she had been sharing, Hermione was in the process of packing up her books and notes.

"Where did you go?" Her friend asked before glancing up, seeing Alice's red face she changed her question. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing," Alice smiled reassuringly, "I just bumped into some seventh years that's all." Hermione had seen her face take on the house colours often enough to know that she was telling the truth. Alice waited impatiently for Hermione to pack away all her things, she was desperate to tell her about what she had found, but wanted to wait until they were out of the Library and away from prying ears before she did so. She was practically hopping from one foot to the other as they walked towards the door and the minute they hit the corridor the tale burst out of her.

"Wow!" Hermione had listened in increasing astonishment to her story. "Why didn't you come and get me?"

"Well I didn't have time; I'd only just found it when those Hufflepuffs appeared. I'll show you next time."

"Are you sure?" Hermione was clearly torn between her desire to see the treasure trove of books and the fact that she suspected they weren't really allowed in the cupboard. "I mean after all, it was a secret stash."

Alice thought about this for a second, she knew without a doubt that she wanted to go back and explore her find further, but how to convince Hermione? "Well," she said eventually, "it can't be that secret if a simple unlocking charm managed to open it. Surely if they really wanted to hide it then it would be… well it would be hidden like the Stone in First year or the Chamber of Secrets was."

Her friend considered her words for a fraction of a second before her face lit up. "Alright, when do we go back?"

Despite her friends' enthusiasm for the scheme, even Harry and Ron were mildly interested once she told them about it, it was difficult to find an opportunity to sneak back into the hidden Library cupboard. For one thing when the Library wasn't thronged with students Madame Pince was usually on the prowl, and for another by Halloween they had more pressing concerns to occupy their time.

"This is pointless," Harry complained for the twentieth time as his friends shoved him the length of the Great Hall. It was the morning of their first Hogsmeade trip and he still didn't have permission to go into the village with his classmates. "There's no way McGonagall will let me go; not after Black's been sighted in the area."

"Well it can't hurt to ask," Hermione gave him a final push in the direction of the staff table before standing back to wait with Alice and Ron. Together the three of them watched anxiously as Harry approached the Head of Gryffindor.

"What do you reckon she's saying?" Ron whispered as they watched McGonagall turn to listen to their friend. Seeing the sympathy in her eyes and the tiny shake of her head as she glanced in their direction Alice let out a defeated sigh.

"No probably."

Sure enough Harry returned a few moments later with a sullen expression and a definite negative.

"It's probably for the best," Hermione tried to console him, although Alice could see that she was disappointed too. "I mean, you will be much safer in the castle after all." The look on Harry's face at this told Alice exactly what he thought of this theory.

"We'll bring you back loads of stuff from Zonko's and Honeyduke's too mate, is there anything you want?" Asked Ron as the students around them began filtering back through to the Entrance Hall before setting out.

"No," Harry shook his head with a forced smile, "it's fine you all go and enjoy yourselves; I'll be fine."

Alice didn't believe him, and she didn't think the others did either, but there wasn't much they could do about it. With a sad smile, and a last sympathetic hug from Hermione, they turned to go. As they began to walk away Alice had a sudden brain wave and quickly rummaged through her bag. Finding what she was looking for she slipped back through the throng of students. "Here," she quickly pushed the Map into Harry's hands, "you remember how I told you to work it?" Harry nodded once, the mounting excitement evident in his eyes. "Just follow one of the tunnels to Hogsmeade… and Harry?" She glanced back at him as she turned to catch up with the others. "Don't mention this to Hermione all right?" His conspiratorial grin was all the response she needed.

"Where did you get to?" Ron asked as she found him standing with Hermione in the Entrance Hall.

"Nowhere, I just dropped something that's all," she tried to smile convincingly at them both. As the three of them walked down to Hogsmeade with the rest of their friends Alice began to worry if she'd done the right thing. There was no doubt that Harry had been over the moon that she had given him the Map and she wanted him to have a good time with the rest of them. But there was still a niggling doubt; it wasn't that she was worried about breaking the rules and disobeying McGonagall, it was just… What if Black really did turn up in the village and something happened to Harry, and it was all her fault, and she could have done something to prevent it -

"Are you all right Alice?" Hermione was looking at her with curiosity and a little concern as they approached Hogsmeade. "You've been awful quiet."

Shaking off her apprehensions, after all there was nothing she could do about it now, Alice attempted a nonchalant smile. "Of course, just trying to decide what I want to see first."

"Scrivenshaft's," answered Hermione.

"Zonko's," Ron said at exactly the same time. The two stared at each other for a second before they promptly began bickering about which shop to start at.

"Well we're almost there look," Alice pointed towards the little village that had just come into view in an effort to get them to stop arguing. "Besides," she added once they had shut up, "we'll have plenty of time for both."

Since it was the first proper visit any of them had ever paid to Hogsmeade they decided to take a stroll through the village first taking in the thatched cottages which jostled cheek by jowl next to shops selling brightly coloured merchandise. The street which ran through the centre of the village swarmed with Hogwarts students all shouting and screeching in a manner that Alice was sure Filch would never tolerate in the halls of Hogwarts. The last shop along the street was Dervish and Banges so, to prevent further argument between Hermione and Ron, they started here. Unlike most of the wizarding shops she had been into, this one hadn't the same haphazard charm and mystery about it. Every wizarding implement you could ever possibly think of was laid out on the shelves that lined the wall in neat rows with tiny, hand written prices scribbled on the cards propped up beside them.

Much to Hermione's delight they next went to Scrivenshaft's where the shelves were piled high with, as the sign put it, everything you could ever need to fulfil your literary needs. She spent so long perusing the stacks of notebooks and marvelling over every imaginable type of quill that Ron took to standing by the shop door and humming loudly and pointedly. Even Alice was beginning to get slightly bored. However, being that it was only the second month of term, she didn't really need to buy anything although she claimed she had run out of ink. As she went to pay for a new bottle Ron leant over as whispered to Alice.

"I honestly don't see how she could have run out; I mean it's not as though she's writing a book in her spare time or anything. Actually," he added after a considered pause, "I wouldn't put that past her."

Alice gave a slight smile, but didn't have the chance to respond as Hermione rejoined them at that point.

The only things that marred the trip to Hogsmeade that day were the occasional Dementor patrols that swept through the village, and which they tried to avoid as much as possible, and the absence of Harry. As they continued through the village Alice kept an eye out for any sign of him, although she did hope he would have the sense to bring his Invisibility Cloak with him so she wasn't sure what she was looking for. However her patience was rewarded after they had gone into Zonko's Joke Shop. She was just in the process of investigating a bag of Hiccup Sweets when a disembodied voice whispered in her ear making her jump and nearly drop them.

"I don't suppose you could buy me some of them to give to Dudley could you?"

Resisting the urge to turn and look where she knew he wouldn't be, she hissed back. "Harry?"

"Of course it's me; who else is it going to be?"

She grinned, but at that moment Hermione, who was standing a few feet away from her and had obviously heard looked up with narrowed eyes. "Harry?! Alice what have you…?" She looked at her friend's red face and frowned, her mind clearly racing. As her eyes slid to a spot in mid air net to Alice she knew her friend had figured it out. In two quick strides she was standing right in front of her. "You gave him the Map didn't you? So that he could get out of the castle?"

When Alice said nothing she rolled her eyes and gave a frustrated, and slightly comical, groan. "Own up Harry, I know you're here."

"Harry's here? Where?" Now Ron had come over too and was peering about him for sign of his friend; Alice could feel her awkwardness turning into a giggle at the absurdity of the situation. The corner of her mouth began to twitch.

"Here." Harry's voice sounded amused as Ron swivelled back round to face them.


"Harry what are you doing?" Hermione just looked exasperated now. "You don't have permission to be here, and it's not safe. What happens if you get caught?"

"Well I won't get caught then will I?"

"Hmmm." Hermione still looked sceptical.

"Why don't we go to the Three Broomsticks?" Ron tried to lighten the mood. "Fred and George have always gone on about the butterbeer they serve there and I can't wait to try some."

"Alright," Hermione still looked angry, but Alice wasn't sure if this was directed towards herself, Harry or the situation in general.

"What took you so long?" Alice asked to break the silence as they made their way quickly across the road. It had started to drizzle and they sped up so no one would notice that the rain didn't fall properly where Harry stood.

"I went -" Harry paused as several students passed within earshot. "I went down a passage on the Map, but it had caved in so I had to find one of the other ones. It came out inside Honeyduke's."

"We haven't been in there yet," Ron pulled a face, "I can't wait though. It's meant to be amazing."

"It is." Even though she couldn't see his face Alice could tell that Harry was smiling as he spoke.

"Try not to leave wet foot prints inside," Hermione hissed at the three of them, still looking irritable, as they arrived at the Three Broomsticks. "Walk on top of ours or something."

Filing inside the pub Alice could feel the warmth and noise hit her like a solid wall. The interior was rather like the Leaky Cauldron, but much livelier than she suspected the other pub had ever been. Students sat at almost every table and at the few they left aside were an array of witches, wizards, hags, dwarves, elves - even a few members of Hogwarts staff. There was a smoky haze floating above the tables but they managed to find a free one in the corner where the air was much cleaner.

"I'll go and get us some butterbeer then shall I?" Asked Ron looking around with evident interest, Alice quickly dug in her pocket for a few Sickles as the others did the same. Once he had gone to get their drinks Hermione and Alice were left at the table trying hard to look as though they were the only ones there. Alice found that it was difficult however to stop her eyes occasionally sliding to the empty space where she knew Harry was sitting and she kept having to remind herself not to turn towards him when she spoke.

"Hermione," Harry tried to placate their friend, "please cheer up. I know you think it would be safer in the castle, but it'll be fine. You'll see. Besides," his voice added as an after thought, "even if Black did turn up, which I can't see him doing in a pub this busy, he wouldn't be able to see me anyway."

Hermione didn't seem to have a response to this so she just huffed in a non-committal way, Alice did notice that she seemed to brighten up after this though. Trust Harry to say the right thing to her.

"Here we are then," Ron landed four foaming bottles of butterbeer on the table, managing to slop the contents of one of them all over his hand in the process. "Oops," he wiped the sticky liquid off onto his jumper.

"Ron!" Hermione chastised.

He looked up at her non-plussed. "What?"

"You're…" she seemed to be searching for the right word. "You're just such a boy sometimes."

"Well I should hope so too," he grinned slipping a bottle of butterbeer under Harry's cloak. "If I wasn't then it would be very confusing - Ow!" He yelped as Alice threw a scrunched up napkin at him. "What was that for?"

"Being an idiot," she grinned.

"This place is amazing," Harry was clearly taking in the scenery. "With all those wooden beams the roof looks as though it goes on forever. How old is this place anyway?"

"It was built in 1567," Hermione answered promptly, "or was it 1576… I can never remember. It was certainly built by the time of the Goblin rebellion in 1612, because the wizarding population used this place as their headquarters."

"Cool," Ron whistled impressed. "Do you reckon Rosmerta's family has always owned it then?"

"Who's Rosmerta?" Harry and Alice asked simultaneously.

"The owner," Ron's face began to burn. "She's up at the bar, she served me the drinks."

"I don't know," she heard Harry's voice chuckle in amusement, "why don't you go and ask her?" The three of them continued lightly teasing Ron before eventually relenting and turning to a discussion of what they wanted to do for the rest of the day. They had just decided that they would pay a visit to the intriguingly named Shrieking Shack when Hermione glanced over Alice's shoulder and interrupted suddenly.

"Oh no," she groaned. "Harry, move quickly!"

"What? Why?"

Alice twisted in her seat and immediately spotted the problem. Malfoy was rapidly approaching their table with a wicked glint in his eye and his lumbering shadows trailing dutifully behind.

"Quick, Harry - never mind, you're too late. Keep quiet!" Hermione hissed the last command out of the corner of her mouth as Malfoy came within earshot. It was the first time Alice had seen him up close since the Hippogriff attack, but if she thought it might have mellowed him slightly she was disappointed.

"Well, well, if it's not the three losers. Feeling lost today without Saint Potter are we?" He stopped inches away from where Harry was sitting under the cloak.

"Go away Malfoy," Ron spoke through clenched teeth as his ears immediately coloured.

Ignoring him the Slytherin continued gloating. "You know if I was him I wouldn't want to hide away inside the castle. I'd be out here looking for revenge. But then what can you expect from a Gryffindor," he sniffed disdainfully.

His words prompted a moment's silence as the three friends looked at each other warily. Alice could feel Harry shifting slightly next to her, clearly dying to say something. Eventually it was Hermione who took the bait. "Malfoy what are you talking about? Revenge for what?"

The gleeful cackle she received in response confirmed to Alice, as though she had really needed it, that Malfoy had been counting on her asking that very question. "You mean he hasn't told you?" He asked innocently. "Or maybe," his pale face lit up, "he doesn't know himself."

"Malfoy, either make sense or shove off," Ron was getting tetchy now.

"What about you Evans, you not going to threaten me too, or don't you have the guts for it?"

Alice felt the heat rush to her face at his words. "You're not worth the oxygen it would waste Malfoy." She surprised herself with how readily the quip came to mind; perhaps her shyness was improving.

His eyes narrowed dangerously. "Big talk for a little mouse."

"What were you saying about Harry?" Hermione cut across him in an effort to assuage her curiosity.

"Potter?" Malfoy tapped his temple contemplatively pretending to struggle with his memory. "I can't seem to…"

"About Sirius Black." Hermione's face looked as though it had been carved from stone and Alice could tell she was just itching to hex him to the other side of the pub.

"Oh you mean about Black? Yes well, it's really none of my business -"

"That's never bothered you before."

Malfoy grinned again in response to Ron's statement. He was drawing a huge amount of pleasure from standing there taunting them; Alice wondered how anyone could be so odious. However hard she tried though she couldn't get the image of him lying, blood-soaked and pathetic in front of Hagrid's cabin, from her mind. It was all an act really, underneath all the talk he was just a weak and pathetic little boy and she had to remember that.

"True," he smirked again. "But still if he doesn't know that Black was at school -"

Alice saw his next action as though it was happening in slow motion, but she was powerless to stop it. In one smooth movement Malfoy put his palms flat on the table and the twisted his body round so that he sat in the seat next to her. The seat that Harry was already sitting in. She could only watch in mounting horror as Malfoy appeared to stop several inches above the chair before letting out a noise somewhere between a banshee's shriek and that which a cat makes when its tail is stepped on. Harry on the other hand sounded as though all the air had been squashed out of him.

Suddenly Malfoy went flying sideways and landed with a clatter on the floor his head swivelling rapidly and his panicked eyes stretched wide to try and see what had happened. The chair itself quickly followed him as she felt Harry stand up, tipping it over in the process.

"Wait H-" Hermione managed to stop herself saying his name at the last moment; clamping her lips stubbornly shut.

Crabbe and Goyle were both standing, equally comical in their bewilderment if only she had been able to see the funny side, stepping every which way in their confusion. Alice didn't know what to do, but suddenly it didn't matter as Harry, obviously trying to escape ran slap into Crabbe and fell. She knew this for sure because as he did so the cloak was torn completely away from him revealing him entirely to an utterly bewildered pub - most of whom were now staring in their direction.

For some reason Alice's brain chose this moment to re-engage and seeing the cloak lying unobserved in a crumpled pile on the floor she quickly kicked it under the table hoping against hope that no one had noticed it. Malfoy certainly hadn't, he was too busy gaping at Harry. Slowly though the gawp turned into a malevolent sneer as it evidently dawned on him that Harry was definitely not supposed to be in Hogsmeade, let alone the Three Broomsticks.

"Oh Merlin," through the deathly silence that had fallen around them she heard Ron groan behind her. Glancing up she felt her stomach drop down into her shoes. As though the situation hadn't been bad enough, there, striding through the tables, nostrils flaring like an irate bull and glasses almost steaming up with fury, was Professor McGonagall.

"Well Mr Potter," she towered over him and spoke in clipped, icy tones. "I do hope you have a good story prepared for this because you are going to be spending a great deal of time in detention and I wouldn't want you to get bored." Harry stared up at her, his glasses slightly askew, clearly struggling for something to say. "Get up please," McGonagall added impatiently. "And I'd like you three to come with me as well." Her inscrutable gaze swept over the three Gryffindors still sitting motionless at the table.

Not daring to look one another in the eye the four of them slowly got to their feet and trooped after their head of house as though they had all been condemned to the gallows. Alice couldn't see how they were going to get out of this one.

A/N: Once it had occurred to me I couldn't resist the idea of having Malfoy sit on Harry, it was too funny an image not to! I made up the date for the founding of the Three Broomsticks so if it is incorrect I apologise - there was a pub in Hogsmeade that was used during the rebellion though. As always please R&R!